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L-groups

The meaning of «l-groups»

The L-groups (Danish: L-gruppe) was a resistance group tasked with assassination of Danish collaborators and German forces occupying Denmark during the Second World War. The precursor to the group was established in 1940, but it was most active from 1944 to the end of the war. The group carried out at least 18 assassination operations and killed between 20 and 30 people. In 1945 the group was hard hit by arrests and killings of its members and further suffered a very high death-rate in the years immediately after the war with suicides and accidents killing a number of members. The group had strong ties to the Danish police, with 5 of its members being police officers.

The L-groups can be traced back to Hans Krarup Andreasen from Silkeborg, one of the earliest recorded Danish resistance members.[1] Working on his own, Krarup conducted sporadic sabotage against German authorities in 1940, and over the following years, his brothers Niels and Ulrik joined him. The group worked primarily with railway sabotage in and around Silkeborg. In the spring of 1944, Krarup contacted the resistance movement in Aarhus. The Aarhus groups counted among them two police officers: Einar Sørensen and Henrik Platou, who had shot the informant Karl Vilhelm Gustav Jeger in Aarhus in January 1944, and it was agreed to form a dedicated assassination group with them as the backbone.[2]

The L-groups was officially formed over the summer of 1944, and in August the first assassinations occurred. On 4 October 1944, the Special Operations Executive agent Kjeld Toft-Christensen arrived from England and joined the group as a liaison officer and trainer.[3] In the fall of 1944 the group was divided in two, with Einar Sørensen and Henrik Platou taking control of one each. Henrik Platou's group was based in Aalborg and was to cover central and southern Jutland, while Einar Sørensen's was based in Aarhus with northern Jutland as its operational area.[4] The two groups were to subsequently recruit reliable locals within their areas and expand. L-group North initially counted Hans Krarup Andreasen, Svend Ulrich Pedersen and Vagn Nørlund Christensen with Henrik Platou as group leader. Sigurd Vestergaard Christensen, Jørgen Christian Jensen, Kjeld Toft-Christensen and Carl Johan Nielsen formed L-group Central with Einar Sørensen as group leader.[5]

The groups settled into their new roles, and through 1944, performed a total of 10 operations against 10 targets. However, in early 1945, L-group North was destroyed. On 27 January Svend Ulrich Pedersen was killed on his 22nd birthday by the Gestapo during a shoot-out which also cost the lives of two Gestapo members.[6] One month later, on 14 February, Henrik Platou was wounded during an assassination attempt leading to his later arrest on 21 February and execution in March. On 21 February, the Gestapo also raided the residence of Vagn Nørlund Christensen and Krarup Andreasen; Krarup was discovered and committed suicide by shooting himself, but Nørlund escaped through a bay window in the roof. Nørlund was subsequently sent to Vejle to start a new group, L-group South, with Svend Middelboe Jensen to cover southern Jutland.[7]

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